American-made Patriot missiles have arrived in Ukraine, the country’s defense minister said Wednesday, providing Kyiv with a long-sought new shield against the Russian airstrikes that have devastated cities and civilian infrastructure.
The U.S. agreed in October to send the surface-to-air systems, which can target aircraft, cruise missiles and shorter-range ballistic missiles such as those that Russia has used to bombard residential areas and the Ukrainian power grid.
“Today, our beautiful Ukrainian sky becomes more secure,” Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a tweet.
The missiles are the latest contribution from Western allies, who have also pledged tanks, artillery and some types of fighter jets as Ukraine gears up for an expected counteroffensive.
Reznikov thanked the United States, Germany and the Netherlands, without saying how many missile systems had been delivered or when they arrived.